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"Ask yourself who is really the friend of women and the LGBT community, Donald Trump with actions or Hillary Clinton with her words?" said Donald Trump during a June 13, 2016 speech.

The speech, which was recorded the morning after the shooting at Orlando's Pulse nightclub, features then presidential candidate Trump slamming his opponent over her support for Muslims and refugees, suggesting that he would be a true friend to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans.

Six months into Trump's presidency, the Human Rights Campaign revisited that promise to see if he is the friend to the LGBTQ he said he would be.


In a new video from HRC, trans kids share what it means to be a friend.

[rebelmouse-image 19528005 dam="1" original_size="500x281" caption="GIF from Human Rights Campaign/YouTube." expand=1]GIF from Human Rights Campaign/YouTube.

[rebelmouse-image 19528006 dam="1" original_size="500x252" caption="GIF from Human Rights Campaign/YouTube." expand=1]GIF from Human Rights Campaign/YouTube.

[rebelmouse-image 19528007 dam="1" original_size="500x253" caption="GIF from Human Rights Campaign/YouTube." expand=1]GIF from Human Rights Campaign/YouTube.

The running theme through the kids' responses is simple: They just want to be accepted, protected, loved, and allowed to live happy lives free from bullying.

That all seems pretty reasonable and really shouldn't be so much to ask.

By these standards and "with his actions," President Trump is not a friend to the LGBTQ community.

On February 22, Trump's Department of Justice and Department of Education rescinded a May 2016 letter of guidance instructing school districts around the country to protect trans kids from discrimination in schools. It was a major WTF moment for anyone who thought the administration would make good on its pro-LGBT promises; and for those who had their doubts, it was a confirmation of their worst fears.

That 2016 letter was the kind of thing Joe Biden might call a "big effing deal," making it clear that trans students have a right not to be bullied or discriminated against. In other words, it was a sign they had friends in the White House. Now? Not so much.

"From rescinding lifesaving guidance protecting transgender students to appointing anti-transgender officials and judges, Donald Trump has proven time and time again that he is no friend to our community. Quite the opposite," says Sarah McBride, HRC national press secretary.

The good news is that anti-LGBTQ attitudes in the White House aren't enough to undo all of the progress we've made.

Trump's administration has been pretty hostile to LGBTQ people, in general, but that's no reason to give up hope.

McBride dismisses Trump's offer of friendship as yet another one of his administration's "alternative facts," but she points to one victorious bright spot from 2016: North Carolina. The state, which earlier in the year had enacted one of the nation's most oppressively anti-LGBTQ laws, rejected its governor's reelection bid in favor of a challenger who ran on repealing it.

"We saw that when trans voices are heard and our allies stand up, we can still make the politics of discrimination and misinformation no longer effective," she says. "That power to effect transformation change remains."

[rebelmouse-image 19528008 dam="1" original_size="499x271" caption="McBride made history as the first transgender woman to address a major political party's convention when she spoke at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, and has been a tireless advocate for equality. GIF from PBS Newshour/YouTube." expand=1]McBride made history as the first transgender woman to address a major political party's convention when she spoke at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, and has been a tireless advocate for equality. GIF from PBS Newshour/YouTube.

Allies are an essential component of the path forward for the rights of trans kids, and there are some specific things we can all do to help out, such as speaking out if we see kids being bullied by teachers, classmates, or even the government. Additionally, we can support organizations like HRC in their fight for full equality and call our elected officials to ask them to reject efforts to discriminate.

"The momentum is on our side," adds McBride. "History is on our side."

Watch the Human Rights Campaign's video here:

Photo courtesy of Girls at Work

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This article originally appeared on 02.25.21


Middle school has to be the most insecure time in a person's life. Kids in their early teens are incredibly cruel and will make fun of each other for not having the right shoes, listening to the right music, or having the right hairstyle.

As if the social pressure wasn't enough, a child that age has to deal with the intensely awkward psychological and biological changes of puberty at the same time.

Jason Smith, the principal of Stonybrook Intermediate and Middle School in Warren Township, Indiana, had a young student sent to his office recently, and his ability to understand his feelings made all the difference.

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All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

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Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.

Melanoma became a particular focus for Dr. Adamson after meeting Avery Smith, who lost his wife—a Black woman—to the deadly disease.

melanoma,  melanoma for dark skin Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)

This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.

To understand this bias, it helps to first know how AI works in the early detection of skin cancer, which Dr. Adamson explains in his paper for the New England Journal of Medicine (paywall). The process uses computers that rely on sets of accumulated data to learn what healthy or unhealthy skin looks like and then create an algorithm to predict diagnoses based on those data sets.

This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.

After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”

“If you don’t teach the algorithm with a diverse set of images, then that algorithm won’t work out in the public that is diverse,” writes Adamson in a study he co-wrote with Smith (according to a story in The Atlantic). “So there’s risk, then, for people with skin of color to fall through the cracks.”

Tragically, Smith’s wife was diagnosed with melanoma too late and paid the ultimate price for it. And she was not an anomaly—though the disease is more common for White patients, Black cancer patients are far more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, causing a notable disparity in survival rates between non-Hispanics whites (90%) and non-Hispanic blacks (66%).

As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.

Now, Adamson uses the knowledge gained through his years of research to help advance the fight for health equity. To him, that means not only gaining a wider array of data sets, but also having more conversations with patients to understand how socioeconomic status impacts the level and efficiency of care.

“At the end of the day, what matters most is how we help patients at the patient level,” Adamson told Upworthy. “And how can you do that without knowing exactly what barriers they face?”

american cancer society, skin cacner treatment"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/

The American Cancer Society believes everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer—regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. Inclusive tools and resources on the Health Equity section of their website can be found here. For more information about skin cancer, visit cancer.org/skincancer.

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Pop Culture

'90s kids share movies that will 'take you back to a better time'

It was a magical time when animals played sports and yet somehow things were just simpler.

YouTube/Upworthy photo illustration

Honey, I shrunk the kid named Matilda while jamming in space!

Everyone knows that '90s movies just hit different. From sports movies to rom-coms to even horror, there was an undeniable innocence, without being overly simplistic or juvenile. They didn’t have nearly the amount of money going into production as they do today, but somehow managed to transport us to magical places.

Movies of the '90s are so iconic that there have been several attempts to reboot beloved titles. Which, let’s face it, tends to be a fool's errand at a cash grab. These movies are so timeless that simply viewing the original is more than fine.

Not sure which movie to start with? You’re in luck—a Reddit user by the name of YouBrokeMyTV asked ’90s kids to share movies that took them “back to a better time,” and because the internet can be a wonderful place, tons of people responded with some beloved classics.

These answers certainly don’t make a definitive list (there are just so, so many gems) but they're a fun glimpse into what made '90s cinema so special. A nostalgic romp through memory lane, if you will.

Enjoy these 14 titles that just might leave you jonesing for a rewatch:

1. "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids"

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A perfect example of how '90s movies were silly, but smart at the same time. And oh so wholesome.

2. "The Sandlot"

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It taught us nothing about baseball, but everything about friendship, rooting for the underdog and (most important) how to make s’mores.

3. "Drop Dead Fred"

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Critics might have run this cult classic through the mud during its inception, but audiences fell in love with the bizarre charm of this story about a mischievous little girl and her anarchist imaginary friend. So take that, snotfaces!

4. "The Goonies"

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Everyone just wanted to set off an epic quest with their friends for pirate treasure after seeing this movie.

5. Tim Burton's "Batman"

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Before the superhero genre was the behemoth it is today, a quirky director and the dude who was best known for playing the creepy demon in "Beetlejuice" breathed new life into comic-book movies. Marvel might be the leader on creating stories with adult themes that are digestible for kids nowadays, but this DC film was the first of its kind. Plus, that soundtrack … forget about it.

6. "Hook"

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Pretty much any '90s film starring Robin Williams was an absolute gem, but this one in particular is timeless. His gift of balancing childlike humor with emotional gravitas lent itself so well to playing the now grown and cynical Peter Pan, who must learn to reclaim his joy (relatable, millennials?). It was a bang-a-rang-er, no question.

7. "Space Jam"

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It had Looney Tunes, it had aliens and it had Michael Jordan. That’s a winning combination.

8. "Matilda"

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I don’t think I’m out of line when I say that this movie helped a lot of kids make their way through difficult childhoods.

9. "The Parent Trap"

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Even '90s reboots were awesome. And how fun it is to see that Lisa Ann Walker—the actress who played Chessy the housekeeper—is not only yet again gracing the screens in NBC’s “Abbott Elementary,” but is also being revered as a style icon on TikTok for her ultra casual looks in the film. We all knew she was onto something with long button downs and shorts.

10. "The Land Before Time"

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No cartoon, not even “The Lion King,” was a better depiction of childhood grief. And yet, despite encapsulating tragedy, director Don Bluth still left viewers hopeful. The subsequent 14 (yes 14) sequels definitely pale in comparison to the original, but "The Land Before Time" continues to stand the test of time nonetheless.

11. "Richie Rich"

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The scene where they play tag on four-wheelers is simply iconic.

12. "Dunston Checks In"

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Man, the '90s were the golden age of animal-centered films. And not just monkeys either—we got sports playing golden retrievers and not one, but two movies starring talking pigs. What a time to be alive. These films were made before CGI had reached the levels it’s at today, and the authentic interactions between humans and creatures reached right through the screen.

13. "George of the Jungle"
george of the jungle, brendan faser

Watch out for the tree!!!

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Have I seen this movie at least 20 times? Probably. It doesn’t get any better than this in terms of silly action films with bird puppets. It’s crazy to think that this role would eventually lead Brendan Fraser to "The Mummy" franchise, turning him into a household name. Though his career has had some tragic ups and downs, we are all grateful for the glorious comeback he’s been having.

14. Anything involving Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen
mary kate and ashley

Yes, they were professional detectives.

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Whether vacationing in London, Paris or Rome, whether playing magical witches or making a huge billboard so their father could find love … Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen offered zany, whimsical entertainment while wearing fun outfits. Sometimes, that’s all you need.